Saturday, June 22, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us "Zod Fight" Trailer

The fourth DLC character for Injustice: Gods Among Us is none other than General Zod.  You can watch him trounce the Man of Steel in the reveal trailer here or below:

Note that General Zod is also the final character for the game's Season Pass, however I have heard rumours that a second Season Pass is coming with four more characters, so we'll see if that proves true.

Games with Gold

For those who don't already know, Microsoft is giving away free Xbox 360 games for Xbox LIVE Gold members.

Beginning on the 1st and then 16th of each month, two games will be available for download absolutely free for Xbox LIVE Gold members starting on July 1st.

To launch the program, beginning on June 10th and running until month's end, Fable III is available for free to Xbox LIVE Gold members.  I've heard rumour that Assassins Creed II and Halo 3 will follow suit.

While this is clearly taking the concept of the Instant Game Collection from PlayStation Plus, which has been received extremely well, the difference is that you get to keep any game you download even if you revert back to an Xbox LIVE Free member.  Unlike PlayStation Plus however, Games with Gold only runs until December 31st, 2013.

While I wouldn't say that you should run out and buy an Xbox LIVE Gold membership just for this, let's face it, the games revealed for the program thus far are older, it is something and does add some real value to the ridiculously overinflated cost of Xbox LIVE Gold.  Without this, everyone knows an Xbox LIVE Gold membership is a blatant rip-off at full price, and Microsoft has struggled for some time now to truly justify its value.  This is better than nothing, at least.

For full details on Games with Gold, check out the official page here.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The History of Mortal Kombat - Episode 7

The seventh episode in Mortal Kombat Secrets web series, "The History of Mortal Kombat," has been released.

Entitled "Decent into the Underworld," it deals with four projects that are generally considered the worst in the franchise, and the departure of John Tobias from Midway.

You can view the episode here or below.

I personally never played any title featured in this episode, but sadly they do look pretty poor.  I'm glad that now, a decade later, the franchise has really picked up again.

The Walking Dead: 400 Days Announced

The Walking Dead was one of the best games released last year, and to tide us over until the release of Season 2, Telltale Games will be releasing one last DLC episode for the first season.

Entitled, "400 Days," it's a single episode that follows five different survivors at different points through a 400 day period.

You can check out the official trailer here or below:

According to the official FAQ, this episode will make reference to your past saves, and will also influence the upcoming Season 2.

What concerns me, of course, is the game breaking bug that's preventing me from completing my third playthrough on my Xbox 360.  If I get this episode and the same "HDD has been detached" error keeps happening, I'll have wasted my Microsoft Points as Telltale Games has officially told me they don't have a solution for me at this time.

Halo on Xbox One, Official E3 Trailer

As expected, the Halo franchise is coming to Microsoft's upcoming console, Xbox One.  The next Halo title, simply called "Halo" at this point, will release in 2014.

You can check out the teaser trailer here or below:

Can I be honest with you and mention that this trailer really irks me?  I'm a huge fan of Halo fiction.  Huge.  I know how a lot of the tech in the franchise works, the science and specs behind it, as well as the personalities and motives of the various factions.

The honest truth is it makes no sense what-so-ever for John-117 to be wearing a cloak over his Mjolnir Mark VI armour; none what-so-ever.  He's wearing one of the most advanced suits of armour known to man, and he's operated in hostile environments of all sorts before.

I truly hope the cloak was just for this teaser trailer, and seeing as how he's holding Cortana's data chip, I hope the focus of this game isn't to bring her back, seeing as how that would negate the emotional impact of her death in Halo 4 and further goes against the lore in terms of rampancy and the nature and creation of smart AI's.

But of course, the game's not out yet or even properly revealed in any detail, so we'll see.

Batman: Arkham Origins E3 Gameplay Trailer

At this past E3, a very slick gameplay trailer was shown for the upcoming Batman: Arkham Origins.

You can view it here or below:

I know there's a lot of skepticism about the game since it's a new developer at the helm, but thus far it sure looks to me like Warners Brothers Games Montreal knows what they're doing.

The franchise as a whole has been great so far, and I'm not going to bash it until it truly lets me down.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Teaser Trailer

The official teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has been released, and it looks great!

If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch it here or below:

I'm very curious who the female elf is.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Diablo III Coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

While it was already announced that Diablo III will be coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, it was recently revealed that it will also be coming to the Xbox 360 as well.

Launching this September 3rd, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game will be available.

You can check out the PlayStation 3 version in action via the "Sizzle Reel" here or below:

You can also view the console versions' Feature Highlights via this trailer here or below:

I absolutely loved the franchise 13 years ago, but that was a long time ago.  My current PC can't handle Diablo III, so perhaps I'll pick up the Xbox 360 version one day.  I do hope there's a demo though, as I'm more curious to see how it controls with a console controller.

One plus regarding the console version of the game though:  Apparently there's no Auction House, a feature I read Blizzard Entertainment themselves wish they could remove from the PC version.

Fable Anniversary Announced

An HD remake of Fable: The Lost Chapters has officially been announced!  Launching later this year on Xbox 360, Fable Anniversary will feature all new HD graphics and remastered sound!

You can check out the teaser trailer here or below:

And for the official announcement, step right this way!

I really enjoyed Fable: The Lost Chapters but sold my copy years ago, so perhaps I'll pick this up.  If it's going to be of the same quality that Halo: Combat Evolved - Anniversary was, then it'll be great fun!

Halo: Spartan Assault Announce Trailer

The next Halo title won't be on a console, but rather on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.  Entitled Halo: Spartan Assault, it sees players control Commander Palmer and Spartan Davis in-between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4.

You can check out the announcement trailer here or below:

This actually looks very cool.  Though sadly, since I don't have Windows 8, I likely won't get to play it; at least not right away.  I was also disappointed as it first looked like a sequel to Halo Wars, but it's not an RTS at all.

Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time Officially Announced

The sequel to the hugely successful Plants vs. Zombies has been officially announced, and you can check out the CG trailer for Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time here or below:

The downer, at least for now, it's an iOS exclusive, so I guess I won't be playing it anytime soon.  It's also going to be free-to-play, apparently, which means it'll likely have micro-transactions galore.

Injustice: Gods Among Us "Scorpion Fight" Trailer

The third DLC character for Injustice: Gods Among Us is here, and it's none other than Mortal Kombat's own Scorpion.

You can check out a few details about his inclusion in the game followed by some sweet gameplay footage in this trailer here or below:

Very bad ass.

You can also check out a ViDoc discussing the character's history and further design here or below:

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness Review

Four years ago, J.J. Abrams rebooted the Star Trek franchise in a clever way, having a little time travel change the future.  While that concept itself isn't exactly new or clever, actioning-up the franchise to appeal to a much larger audience was.

At its core, Abram's Star Trek is still Star Trek filled with all the wonderful characters, technology, and even science that we remember, but the latter two are set a bit more behind-the-scenes while the first, along with great action and effects, take the centre stage.

And at the end of the day, this worked wonderfully.  Star Trek was an amazing film and it brought a lot of new people into the Trekkie realm, and the sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness, is now gracing the silver screen as I type this.

A young Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is in command of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and he's still embracing being a bit of a rouge, a maverick who doesn't quite play by the book, and he's taken his crew along for the ride.  The film opens with him and McCoy (Karl Urban) stealing a religious artifact from a primitive culture and escaping, leading the indigenous population outside of their temple and on a merry chase.  The reason?  The volcano right next to them is about to errupt and wipe them out, and Kirk and McCoy are serving as distractions while Spock (Zachary Quinto), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), and Sulu (John Cho) take a shuttle to place a device inside the volcano to stop it.

Things don't go exactly as planned, Spock almost dies, and Kirk has to violate the Prime Directive in order to save him.  Despite all of this, the Enterprise's original mission here was much simpler:  to scout the planet at long range and not get involved with anything.  Oops.  Suffice it to say, even though Kirk saved the native population and his first officer, Starfleet Command isn't very happy with the gallant Captain and disciplinary action is taken.

Right around this time though, a rouge Starfleet operative, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), begins a series of bombings and terror attacks against Starfleet, bringing everything else to a halt.  Harrison immediately becomes public enemy number one starting off a good old man hunt that leads to tragic consequences, revelations, and betrayals in extremely ingenious nods to past films from the original timeline.

In today's actual society, the fear of terrorism is very much a reality, so Abrams certainly picked the right theme to focus on to engage an audience.  The desire to see justice done to those who commit terrorist acts is equally as strong, so the character's reactions in the film are pretty identifiable.

As a long standing fan of the franchise, however, what truly captivated me was the altered plot lines and the parallels I mentioned which came before.  Sadly, I can't go into this in detail (as much as I want to) simply due to the heavy spoiler nature of it, but I was thrilled as I began figuring things out and piecing together the plot points before they were officially revealed.  Doing so greatly appeased my inner nerd and so added to the fun I was getting from the film.

Even without knowing any of the history here, Star Trek: Into Darkness is still a great action packed ride that anyone can enjoy.  This isn't the same style as the Star Trek of old from the '60's to early '80's, it's much faster paced and designed to keep things moving forward while mixing in very healthy doeses of nostalgia for previous fans of the franchise.

As a standalone piece it definitely holds its own as the characters are lively enough, the plot well fleshed out enough (and full of convenient coincidences like the first reboot film), and the effects and battles spectacular enough.  If anything, my only real gripe would be that at points things can feel a bit too rushed and that a bit of a breather is needed, but not so much so that it ruined the film for me.

Of the summer blockbuster season, Star Trek: Into Darkness is the best film released yet.  It's not perfect, nor is it the best Star Trek film I've seen, but it's still great fun and thoroughly entertaining, which just so happens to be exactly what I was looking for.  I personally recommend you don't pass up the opportunity to journey along with Kirk's crew and the Enterprise this summer.